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Below are cases coming before the Supreme Court in the coming weeks and the lawyers who will argue them. “Docket Watch” appears at the beginning of each two-week argument cycle when the high court hears cases. The Court is not sitting on Oct. 2 because of Yom Kippur.
TUESDAY, OCT. 3 Jose Antonio Lopez v. Alberto R. Gonzales, Attorney General No. 05-547 Reymundo Toledo-Flores v. United States No. 05-7664 Certiorari to the Courts of Appeals for the 8th Circuit and 5th Circuit. Question presented: Certain controlled-substance offenses are felonies under state law, but are punished as a misdemeanors under state law. Do they qualify as a deportable “aggravated felony” under the Immigration and Nationality Act for an alien who was sentenced under state law to more than one year in prison? For petitioners: Robert Long Jr., Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C., and Timothy Crooks, Federal Public Defender for the Southern District of Texas, Houston. For respondent: Edwin Kneedler, deputy solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. Robert L. Ayers Jr., Acting Warden v. Fernando Belmontes No. 05-493 Certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Questions presented: Is California’s “unadorned factor” instruction constitutionally sufficient when a defendant presents mitigating evidence of his background and character that relates to his future prospects as a life prisoner? And does the 9th Circuit’s holding that it is constitutionally inadequate constitute a “new rule” under Teague v. Lane? For petitioner: Mark Johnson, deputy attorney general, State of California Attorney General’s Office, Sacramento, Calif. For respondent: Eric Multhaup, private practitioner, Mill Valley, Calif. (appointed by the Court)
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 4 MedImmune Inc. v. Genetech Inc., et al. No. 05-608 Certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Questions presented: Does the grant of jurisdiction in Article III of the Constitution for “all Cases…arising under…the Laws of the United States” implemented in the “actual controversy” requirement of the Declaratory Judgment require a patent licensee to refuse to pay royalties and commit material breach of the license agreement before suing to declare the patent invalid, unenforceable, or not infringed? For petitioner: John Kester, Williams & Connolly, Washington, D.C.; Harvey�Kurzweil, Dewey Ballantine, Washington, D.C.; and Deanne Maynard, assistant to the solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. (as amicus curiae) For respondent: Maureen Mahoney, Latham & Watkins, Washington, D.C. BP America Production Co., Successor in Interest to Amoco Production Co., et al. v. Rejane Burton, Acting Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management, Department of the Interior, et al. No. 05-669 Certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Question presented: Does the six-year limitations period of 28 U.S.C.�2415(a) govern the issuance of administrative orders, as opposed to the government’s filing of a complaint in court? For petitioners: Jeffrey Lamken and Steven Hunsicker, Baker Botts, Washington, D.C. For respondents: Daryl Joseffer, assistant to the solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.
TUESDAY, OCT. 10 United States v. Juan Resendiz-Ponce No. 05-998 Certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Question presented: Can the omission of an element of a criminal offense from a federal indictment constitute harmless error? For petitioner: Michael Dreeben, deputy solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. For respondent: Atmore Baggot, private practice, Apache Junction, Ariz. (appointed by the Court) Global Crossing Telecommunications Inc. v. Metrophones Telecommunications Inc. No. 05-705 Certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Question presented: Does the Communications Act of 1934 create a private right of action for a pay phone service provider to sue a long-distance carrier for violations of the Federal Communication Commission’s regulations concerning compensation for coinless pay phone calls? For petitioners: Jeffrey Fisher, Davis Wright Tremaine, Seattle. For respondents: Roy Englert Jr., Robbins, Russell, Englert, Orseck & Untereiner, Washington, D.C.; and James Feldman, assistant to the solicitor general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. (as amicus curiae) Norfolk Southern Railway Co. v. Timothy Sorrell No. 05-746 Certiorari to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District. Question presented: Did the court err in determining that the causation standard for employee contributory negligence under the Federal Employers Liability Act differs from the causation standard for railroad negligence? For petitioner: Carter Phillips, Sidley Austin Brown & Wood, Washington, D.C. For respondent: Roger Denton, Schlichter Bogard & Denton, St. Louis.
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 11 John Cunningham v. California No. 05-6551 Certiorari to the California Court of Appeals, 1st Appellate District. Question presented: Does California’s Determinate Sentencing Law, which permits judges to enhance sentences based on their determination of facts not found by the jury or admitted by the defendant, violate the Sixth and 14th amendments? For petitioner: Peter Gold, private practitioner, San Francisco. For respondent: Jeffrey Laurence, deputy attorney general, Office of the Attorney General, San Francisco. Thomas L. Carey, Warden v. Matthew Musladin No. 05-785 Certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Question presented: In the absence of controlling Supreme Court law, did the 9th Circuit exceed its authority by overturning Musladin’s state conviction of murder on the ground that the courtroom spectators included three family members of the victim who wore buttons depicting the deceased? For petitioner: Gregory Ott, deputy attorney general, State of California Attorney General’s Office, San Francisco. For respondent: David Fermino, Federal Public Defender, Northern District of California, San Francisco. (appointed by the Court)

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